Another witness retracts accusations vs De Lima, says he was ‘coerced’

Rafael Ragos. STORY: Another witness retracts accusations vs De Lima, says he was ‘coerced’

MANILA, Philippines — Another key witness has recanted his statements accusing Sen. Leila De Lima of involvement in the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

In his affidavit, notarized on April 30, 2022, in Pasig, Rafael Ragos, a former officer-in-charge for the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), alleged that then Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II had “coerced” him into testifying against De Lima.ADVERTISEMENT

De Lima has been in jail since 2017 on drug charges, all of which she had denied.

Ragos made accusations against De Lima on various occasions starting in 2016 at the House justice committee hearing on the NBP illegal drug trade and during case hearings at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 204.

“I just want to clear something that has been on my chest since this has been concealed for so long,” Ragos told a group of select reporters, including this one from the Inquirer, at a media conference over the weekend.

“It doesn’t matter if these people would get mad at me, what matters here is the truth. Those who did wrongdoings would be mad. What do I care?” he added.

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